There is a museum, rue Grenelle, dedicated to the sculptor Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) who specialized in the female body. It was created in 1995 (was recently renovated) by one of his former models, Diana Vierny (1919-2009), who became a gallery owner and art dealer … and donated the great number of Maillol statues that you can find in the Tuileries Gardens (see previous post).
At the moment, the Maillol Museum proposes a temporary exhibition by a surprising artist, “Ben” (Ben Vautier 1935 - ).
"Ben" lives in Nice, where he ran a “shop” between 1958 and 1973. He’s known as an avant-garde, post-modern artist… known for “performances”, « installations », « mail-art », « écritures »… and street art – like here in Paris, rue Menilmontant (see also previous post).
Let’s not forget Aristide Maillol and the permanent collection. Maillol was also a creator of tapestry in the past. Three of his statues decorate the staircase of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
(There are a number of very interesting exhibitions in Paris at the moment. Here are some other examples: Rembrandt, Oscar Wilde, Diego Rivera/Frida Kahlo..., Hergé, Fantin-Latour, Magritte, "Icons of Modern art".)
The entrance to the Maillol Museum is adjacent to an 18th century monumental fountain, “La Fontaine des Quatre Saisons”. It offered despite its size only small quantities of drinking water to the Parisians. It was already at its creation criticized for being a bit too imposing for this rather narrow street.
The bottom floor and the basement (now a restaurant) of the present museum used to house a cabaret, also named “La Fontaine des Quatre Saisons”, in the 1950-60’s, managed by the brothers Jacques and Pierre Prévert. All names of performers in the cabaret may not be known abroad, but I wish to mention Maurice Béjart, Guy Bedos, Mouloudji, Jean Yanne, Philippe Clay, Francis Blanche, Les Frères Jacques… and Boris Vian who created his famous anti-war song, “Le Déserteur” (The Deserter) here.